With July 4th around the corner, we'll be seeing a lot more American flags in the next few weeks, and while you can buy the Stars and Stripes at many retailers, you also have an opportunity to get a special flag - one that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol - and you can even pick the day it flies.
It's thanks to the little-known Capitol Flag Program, which began in 1937 and allows Americans to purchase flags and have them raised above the Capitol on a day of significance for them. They can be flown on any day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, and will be raised above the Capitol on special flag poles, weather permitting.
On average, 100,000 flag requests come in each year and each flag is sent out with a Certificate of Authenticity issued by the Architect of the Capitol. Flags come in cotton and nylon, and vary in size from three feet by five feet to five feet by eight feet. The costs range from $23 to $37 plus shipping and handling. If you don't specify a date to fly it, it will be flown on the first available day, which is usually within a couple weeks of the request.